That’s What I’m Talking About!

The Atlantic Monthly has become a surprising resource, and I find myself venturing over there more than the staples (Food and Wine, Food Network, Gourmet, etc., etc.) to read about food. A recent piece by Le Bernardin’s executive pastry chef inspired me to list my version of stand-out moments in food.

  • My very first peanut butter and jelly sandwich I secretly ate at my neighbor’s when I was four; my immigrant parents didn’t allow that junk in our home
  • Ubuntu’s cauliflower in cast iron pot — made me rethink vegetarian restaurants
  • My grandmother’s oshiruko
  • Eating smoked salmon straight from the production line in Vancouver at five
  • Separate preparations for my mother and father’s dinners. Respectively
  • My first sushi-go-round experience at Isobune in Burlingame, CA in front of Sam-san (of Sushi Sam’s)
  • Cooking six variations of buta no kakuni (Japanese braised pork belly) one night because Japanese recipes are vague and I was still unfamiliar with the ingredients. I had to see what the best method was. That night. (What a disaster that was.)
  • Eating pasta with a spoon and fork in Tokyo
  • My very first onigiri (rice ball) from a convenience store and learning how to unwrap it
  • The osechi made by my aunt
  • First meal at The French Laundry with my mother and her boyfriend — I wasn’t even old enough to drive yet!
  • Making pancakes in the 6th grade in Mrs. Fujiwara’s cooking class
  • First memorable carpaccio at 13, it was at il Forniao in San Mateo
  • First taste of Michael Minna’s cooking at Aqua restaurant in SF
  • First Chez Panisse dinner when I was in the 3rd grade
  • Family kitchen constantly stocked with fresh fruit (in season.)
  • My father bringing home dirt covered produce, straight from the fields in Half Moon Bay, California
  • Depa-chika (Japanese department store food hall, think Nieman Marcus’ epicure department and multiply that by a bajillion)
  • Daily grocery shopping with my mom in the US and my family in Japan
  • Watching and learning to cook from my aunt
  • Calling my mom asking how to cook a steak at 14
  • Eating and cooking adventures with my ex Ace in Tokyo, Philippines, and in California. Ace is also a fantastic cook
  • Spending a week of my Christmas vacation baking cookies as Christmas gifts
  • Cooking for friends and family
  • My mom’s special menus

Wow this list got long, fast…and I only spent about five minutes punching all this out. To most, this probably sounds like a bunch of gibberish, so I will expand with separate posts and link as time goes by. This will definitely be an ongoing project…

What is this, my memoir??? Seriously.


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